Most of the children in our care have backgrounds where they intrinsically feel and experience the world as a fearful place, including the adults in it. They experience feelings of hopelessness about their futures, and an inability to identify and manage their emotions.
The therapeutic and treatment model that underpins our work is the attachment model. We believe that through positive role modelling and ‘therapeutic parenting’ provided by staff to the children in our care, they are able to develop and experience positive relationships.
Such relationships provide young people with the chance to build (possibly for the first time) a trusting, therapeutic relationship with an adult, alongside developing positive and trusting bonds with their day to day carers. The shift to forming trusting relationships is the foundation that can be the turning point in helping children recover from developmental trauma, for example, and aid their future progress.
The Therapy Team
The Therapy Team includes several experienced psychotherapists/drama therapists, two play therapists a music therapist and a CBT therapist, all of whom are regulated by their respective professional bodies, and work to the associated ethical codes of conduct.
The philosophy behind the therapy team is one of creativity, hence the use of creative arts therapies and play therapy. Our aim is to meet the child where they are at in an attempt to engage them in therapeutic process. Creative Arts and Play allows the child to try to express their inner world within the container of creativity supported by authentic therapeutic relationship with a dedicated therapist.
Much of our work is influenced and underpinned by the principles and practice of DDP (Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy) and the guiding principles of PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity, Empathy) that are inherent to DDP. All therapists are trained to at least DDP Level 1. Some are qualified to Level 2; ongoing practice can contribute to the completion of the Practicum (Level 3) which is fully qualified DDP Practitioner status.
We also have a longstanding professional relationship with a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, who predominantly undertakes direct work during the assessment period in the form of a Psychiatric Assessment, and if required, may maintain psychiatric case overview. Our school also work with a Consultant Educational Psychologist who undertakes educational assessments and supports the school (if required).
All care staff are also trained in DDP to support young people in their care and engage them therapeutically with their day to day interactions. All areas of our business continue to develop staff to enable them to support the DDP model at different levels. Clinical supervision for staff is available at regular clinics run by the therapy department.